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11/10/2020

How C-store Retailers Are Saying Thanks This Veterans Day

NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience store retailers across the country are recognizing U.S. active duty military, veterans and their families this Veterans Day, Nov. 11, with a variety of free offerings, discounts on food and beverages and support for military-related nonprofit groups.

7-ELEVEN Inc.

7-Eleven is teaming with Veterans Advantage, a public benefit organization that creates exclusive benefits and discounts for active duty, retired, veteran, guard, reservists and family members, to offer military discounts throughout its network.

To unlockk the deals, customers can download the 7-Eleven mobile app and sign in or register; visit the Veterans Advantage website to sign up for a VetRewards Card ID or Veterans Advantage level membership; link the accounts through the Veterans Advantage site; and scan the 7-Eleven app in stores at checkout.

VetRewards Card subscribers will earn an extra 1,000 7Rewards bonus points for every $10 spent or 300 points as a Veterans Advantage free member. Veterans Advantage members can also get a free coffee or Big Gulp on Veterans Day, as well as Memorial Day and July 4th.

CASEY'S GENERAL STORES

All current and past service members can receive a free coffee at any Casey's location on Nov. 11.

For the rest of the month of November, Casey's customers can support nonprofit organizations Hope For The Warriors and Children of Fallen Patriots by rounding up their purchases. Additionally, $1 will be donated for every online or in-app purchase of a large pizza and two-liter Pepsi brand beverage, up to $50,000.

"Every day, Casey's is committed to supporting our guests, and we know our guests are just as committed to serving the men and women who have served this great country," said Darren Rebelez, CEO of Casey's General Stores and a veteran of the United States Army. "As a veteran myself, I am proud to be a part of Casey's support of military heroes and their families, and these two remarkable organizations."

DUNKIN'

Dunkin' invites all veterans and active duty military to enjoy a free doughnut of their choice, no purchase necessary, at participating Dunkin' restaurants nationwide.

Additionally, for the second year in a row, Dunkin' has teamed up with A Million Thanks, a nonprofit organization that supports active, reserve and veteran military by sending millions of letters of thanks and encouragement directly to them. Dunkin' is making a $10,000 donation to the organization and gave fans the chance to show their appreciation by crafting their own digital letters via Dunkin's Instagram story on Nov. 9. The digital letters will be printed and mailed to active military members within the A Million Thanks community.

Following the donation, the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation is supporting military families with critically ill children by gifting a $25,000 grant to the Believe in Tomorrow Children's Foundation, which provides premier hospital and respite housing to children receiving treatment, and their families, in order to bring comfort and hope to those battling life-threatening illness.

Dunkin' fans can also treat veterans and active service members to a coffee break at DunkinCoffeeBreak.com, where anyone can send an e-gift card, available in special Veterans Day designs, to veterans who inspire them.

"We're pleased to once again partner with A Million Thanks to recognize veterans and offer free donuts as a small token of our thanks for all the courageous members of our armed forces, past and present," said Jill Nelson, vice president, marketing strategy at Dunkin'. "At Dunkin', we are committed to honoring the dedicated members of our military, not just on Veterans Day but year-round. We're proud to keep our heroes running, at home and at our restaurants on active military bases around the world."

The brand's Veterans Day initiatives are part of its ongoing commitment to supporting U.S. armed forces. Previously, the company has donated more than 300,000 pounds of coffee to troops deployed overseas through the Dunkin' Coffee for Our Troops program.

LOVE'S TRAVEL STOPS & COUNTRY STORES

Service members can enjoy an any-size coffee or fountain drink for free. They can also purchase one roller grill item and get a second item free.

PILOT CO.

Pilot Co. will celebrate Veterans Day all week, offering all veterans a free breakfast combo, consisting of one any-size Pilot coffee and one breakfast offering such as the French toast sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, from Nov. 9-15. The offer is valued at participating U.S. Pilot and Flying Travel Centers.

The company is also holding an in-store round-up fundraiser benefiting Wreaths Across America through the end of the year. Funds raised will support the organization's goal of placing more than 2.2 million wreaths in all 50 states to remember and honor fallen soldiers during the holidays.

"The holiday season is a special time to remember and recognize veterans for their sacrifice," said James A. Haslam II, a U.S. Army veteran and founder of Pilot Co. "On behalf of our 28,000 team members, we sincerely thank the men and women who've selflessly served our country. We appreciate Wreaths Across America's mission of remember, honor and teach and invite our guests to partner with us in support of their goal to lay a wreath on every hero's grave."

Now through Dec. 31, visitors to any of Pilot Co.'s 750 company-operated stores in the U.S., including participating Pilot and Flying J travel centers and One9 Fuel Network stores, can choose to round up their purchases to the next whole dollar and donate the additional amount to Wreaths Across America.

In remembrance of its hometown heroes, Pilot Co. is donating $20,000 and contributing $20,000 from the round-up campaign to support the Wreaths Across America ceremonies in Knoxville, Tenn.

SHEETZ Inc.

On Nov. 11, Sheetz is offering all veterans and active duty military personnel a free half turkey sub and regular size fountain drink at any of its 614 c-stores. Locations that offer car wash service will also provide a complimentary wash. Military ID or proof of service must be presented to qualify.

"Sheetz, a family owned and operated restaurant and convenience chain across the Mid-Atlantic, will show its respect and gratitude for veterans and active duty military personnel on Veterans Day by offering all veterans and active duty military members a free meal and car wash throughout the day," the company stated.

STEWART'S SHOPS

To honor the service of area veterans, all Stewart's Shops customers can buy a single-scoop ice cream cone for just 50 cents on Veterans Day.

More than 11,000 discounted cones were enjoyed on Veterans Day in 2019, according to the retailer, which supports dozens of veteran-related causes each year.

TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA Inc.

TravelCenters of America (TA) invites all active duty military, veterans and reservists can enjoy a complimentary meal on Nov. 11 at participating quick-service restaurants and Country Pride and Iron Skillet restaurants across the nation.

Proof of service is required for the complimentary meal. Options include U.S. Uniformed Services ID card; current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES); veterans organization membership card; photograph in uniform; DD214 form; and a citation or commendation.

"We're honored to serve many active-duty and veteran military every day and it's important to us that we recognize those who have fought for our freedom," said TA President Barry Richards. "Veterans Day is the perfect opportunity to give back and show our appreciation and respect to all who have served."

Country Pride and Iron Skillet restaurants will also display Fallen Soldier Tables. The single place setting at an empty table is intended to serve as a humble way the company remembers and honors the sacrifices of those who gave their lives to protect freedom, according to TA.

WAWA Inc.

Wawa is offering free coffee in any size to veterans, active military members and their families all day on Nov. 11, with no military ID required. All 900-plus Wawa stores are participating.

"At Wawa supporting our military is part of our DNA and each year, Veterans Day gives us a chance to thank our troops, and, in our own small way, give something back to these brave and dedicated men and women," said Chris Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. "Once again, we plan to honor our military and their families with free coffee on Veterans Day, and also through a socially-distanced care package assembly at our Wawa headquarters the Tuesday before Veterans Day. In its 10th year, we've been providing troops abroad with a taste of home through our coffee care packages, and we are passionate about continuing this tradition for years to come."

Operation Taste of Home care packages ae an annual tradition organized by Wawa store associates and supported by the USO of Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, who together help send more than 5,000 care packages to military members who are currently deployed. On Nov. 10, Wawa associates and members of the USO, Air National Guard and Army National Guard will safely assemble more than 5,000 care packages. Health screenings, assembly shifts and face coverings will be in place.

Additionally, The Wawa Foundation will present a check to the USO for $763,332 in funds raised through in-store coin and scan campaigns held at every Wawa store during the summer off 2020, including a $50,000 scan match from The Wawa Foundation.